Written by Bridgette Outten
Halloween is only a week away. Before you indulge in a night of trick-or-treating with a bevy of ghost, goblins and ghouls, make time for your family to enjoy these great Halloween-themed day trips:
Minnesota Streetcar Museum
All events board at the Linden Hills Station
West 42nd Street and Queen Avenue South
This year, two new events, the Transylvania Trolley and the Ghost Trolley Late Show, join returning favorites Ghost Trolley and Farmer Ken's Pumpkin Patch, says Rod Eaton, senior superintendent at the museum.
Streetcars are not handicapped-accessible, though in many cases staff can assist with boarding for ambulatory riders. Rides are about 20 minutes and you should expect a short to moderate wait in line.
Ghost Trolley, "Revenge of the Streetcar Zombies," although played for laughs rather than screams, may be too intense for younger kids. Likewise, Sunday evening’s Ghost Trolley Late Show is not recommended for small children.
For younger children—or anyone who likes to dress up for Halloween—there’s the Transylvania Trolley. New this year, it’s a silly-not-scary-ride this Saturday hosted by Vampire Motorman Count Karl. Eaton describes it as a Halloween party on wheels.
Leave the plastic at home. The museum accepts cash and checks only. Get other good tips here.
The Boy Scouts will have a bonfire at the Ghost Trolley station and do-it-yourself hot dogs, s’mores and hot cider, Eaton says.
THE FINE PRINT
Ghost Trolley operates 6 to 9 p.m. this Friday and Saturday. Admission is $4 for all riders. Fare on the Ghost Trolley Late Show, Sunday at 8 and 9 p.m., is $5; reserved tickets are available online at TrolleyRide.org and may be available at the station Sunday evening. The Transylvania Trolley fare is $2; children 3 and under ride free.
Shafer Corn Maze
Just south of Highway 8
Ever wonder what’s lurking in that corn at night? Shafer Corn Maze is a Paul Bunyan design for 2013, cut into 12 acres of corn with more than four miles of paths, says owner Dana Miron. Choose from three different-sized mazes within the design or enjoy all three with six checkpoints to find in each.
There’s no address for the maze to plug into your trusty GPS but you can enter the intersection of Highway 8 and Quinlan Lane to get right to the location. Find more directions here.
Farm Scene Investigation is included, Miron says, so you’ll want to solve the mystery of what happened to Farmer Joe.
Stalkers of the Corn haunted trail is open Friday and Saturday night. Admission is $8.50 for adults and children ages 12 and up. For ages 5 to 11, the admission is $5.50, but parents are encouraged not to bring small children. Anyone under 11 must be accompanied by an adult.
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory
1225 Estabrook Drive
Saint Paul, MN 55103
If you’re looking for a Halloween event that’s not so scary, this may be the one. Billed as a “non-scary Halloween Festival for Families,” Como Zoo is transformed into a world of fairy tales and fun, says marketing and public relations assistant Colleen Batty.
Kids are encouraged to wear costumes—but ZooBoo is an outdoor event, so make sure to dress appropriately for the weather. And the kids should bring their own trick-or-treat bag. Check out other good tips here
More than 200 live costumed characters mingle and interact with children along an outdoor ZooBoo path. Be sure to get a picture with at least one.
The Fine Print
ZooBoo will be held Friday through Sunday from 4:40 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $6 in advance, $7 at the gates. All proceeds support the plants and animals at Como Park Zoo & Conservatory.
Minneapolis Park District
The park district has a variety of events from the weekend before Halloween to the big day itself. Happenings at various parks, including hayrides, moonwalks and games (even a toddler parade) will no doubt be hosted somewhere near you.
Some activities require a small fee, so thoroughly check the calendar before you head out.
We are very excited about the circus-themed Preschool Parade, as we’re sure it’s going to full o’ cuteness.
The Fine Print
Hours and times vary, so be sure to check details like location, time and cost. In the case of the Preschool Parade, it’s from 10:30 a.m. to noon Oct. 31. Admission is $3 for residents and $4.50 for non-residents.